New Passport Rule Affects Travelers Who Wear Glasses


September, according to the U.S. State Department, is passport awareness month. And the Department is using the occasion to publicize on its Twitter and Facebook feeds a noteworthy policy change in passport processing.

Beginning on November 1, eye glasses will no longer be allowed in passport photos.

More generally, the Department notes that bad photos are the number one reason that passport applications are rejected or delayed. “In 2015, we received more than 200,000 unacceptable passport photos! Submitting a passport application with a bad photo will delay processing your application and could interfere with planned travel.”

Other photo-related tips:

  • Portrait should be against neutral backdrop.
  • Over- or underexposed photos are unacceptable.
  • Photos must be recent – taken within the past six months.
  • Applicant’s image must be the right size, neither too large nor too small.
  • Photos must be high resolution and undamaged.

There’s a comprehensive list of passport photo requirements on the Department’s website.

Don’t let your overseas trip get waylaid by a non-compliant photo.

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.

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